The Pamphlet Series addresses AEN’s primary concerns through adapted articles, lectures, and speeches. Authors include AEN faculty members and other noted scholars and thinkers who contribute to the discourse on these subjects. Certain pamphlets may also be accompanied by discussions with the author in the form of recordings or podcasts.
AEN’s eighth pamphlet, “Finding Common Ground: A Strategy for Combating the Anti-Israel Movement in the U.S. Academy,” by Michael Saenger of Southwestern University, offers some conceptual and political bridges between the many groups engaged in combating BDS on campus and in the academy.
AEN’s seventh pamphlet, “Why I am a Zionist,” by Gil Troy of McGill University, invites readers into a new conversation about Zionism. Building on Troy’s book, The Zionist Ideas, this conversation is aspirational and inspiring, not defensive or apologetic. And it is rooted in what Zionism actually is and was, while imagining all that it can be: a constellation of history, values, and visions; a model of constructive, democratic, liberal nationalism that not only mobilizes Jews to build a better world but helps individuals associated with the movement find deep meaning amid fulfilling communal affiliations.
AEN’s sixth pamphlet, “BDS & the Queer Appropriation of Pinkwashing,” by R. Amy Elman of Kalamazoo College, follows from research Elman conducted as a Fulbright scholar in Haifa (2017-2018). Portions of it were first presented at the conference, “Israel at 70: Complexity, Challenge, and Creativity,” hosted by the Michael and Elaine Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel at Michigan State University, September 16-17, 2019.
AEN’s fifth pamphlet, “Arguing Israel Contra BDS,” is adapted from a keynote presentation at AEN’s second national conference by Einat Wilf, author, lecturer, and former Member of Knesset for the Labor Party. Wilf’s pamphlet challenges progressives’ opposition to Zionism and Israel by asserting that the story of Jewish self-determination can serve as a model for other oppressed peoples to challenge entrenched structures of power.
AEN’s fourth pamphlet, “Countering the BDS Colonial Settler Narrative,” is adapted from a keynote presentation at AEN’s second national conference by Ilan Troen, the Stoll Professor of Israel Studies, Emeritus (Brandeis University), and the Lopin Professor of Modern History, Emeritus (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev). Troen’s pamphlet rejects the settler-colonial paradigm in the case of Israel and emphasizes the rights of Jews as a people to self-determination in their historic homeland.
AEN’s third pamphlet, “Feminism and Zionism,” expands on remarks made at AEN’s second national conference in 2017 by Janet Freedman, Resident Scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center. Freedman’s pamphlet describes her experiences at the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), which passed a resolution supporting the BDS movement in 2015. As a Zionist and a founding member of the Jewish Caucus of the NWSA, she also writes of antisemitism and anti-Zionism in the association, and offers suggestions for how to confront these issues.
AEN’s second pamphlet, “Conspiracy Pedagogy on Campus: BDS Advocacy and Academic Freedom,” is adapted from a keynote presentation at AEN’s first national conference by Cary Nelson, Jubilee Professor Emeritus of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nelson’s pamphlet criticizes the “political corruption” of some humanities and social science disciplines that have elevated the rationale behind the BDS movement to an incontrovertible truth.
A podcast featuring a discussion with Nelson on similar themes, “Reflections from the Front: Cary Nelson on Israel, Academia and Combating BDS,” can be found here.
AEN’s first pamphlet, “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) and Antisemitism,” is adapted from a keynote presentation at AEN’s first national conference by David Hirsh, a Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and the founder of Engage, a campaign against academic boycotts of Israel. Hirsh’s pamphlet emphasizes the need to return the discourse on Israel to the “democratic realm of rational politics” while opposing antisemitism on both the left and the right.